The Closing: Part One

Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.
-Hunter S. Thompson

TJ went out to start the truck while I finish making sure I have everything I need for my last day. I feel like I’ve forgotten something, but I can’t figure out what it is.

LivCocktail, check. Deodorant, check. Supplement packs, check. I took my collagen, took my lysine. Sinus pills in my bag. Workshirt. Phone in my wallet, watch on my wrist. I can’t place it.

Oh well, it’s 0520 hours; I don’t have time for this; I’ve got to go. I grab my stuff and go out the door, and it’s bloody cold. Thirty-six degrees and the truck isn’t much warmer. TJ is scraping the windows.

He gets in and starts to pull out, blowing on his hands to warm them; he wasn’t even wearing gloves.

Me: ugh, I can’t wait for summer; I hate coldness!

TJ: 36 this morning; maybe it will drop down to 35 right as it starts to sprinkle, and we’ll get some snow early. Then have a high of 60.

Me: oh yea, that would be nice, hey? I’ll already be at work, so you wouldn’t have to drive in it, hehe.

We pull into 711, and I hop out to make us each coffee for the last time, this early. His: sugar, chocolate, and caramel Colombian dark roast. Mine: Cinnabon decaf with stevia rather than sugar.

This guy that works at The Rainbow Store walks in while I’m stirring: he’s nearly always there before me.

Me: I beat you today.

Patron: yes, ma’am, you did.

He chuckles.

Me: “Have a great day!” I say.

As I walk away, taking my typical path to get to the cooler with the water bottles. I grab two 33 oz Pure water bottles, carrying one under my chin to the checkout.

Me: yesterday, we accidentally drove right past here without realizing it till we saw Wal-Mart. We stopped at the little store on the hill, and can you believe this? They didn’t have any coffee!

Clerk: Wow, that sucks.

Me: yea! Well, have a great day!

Clerk: you too, dear.

I get back in the truck, handing TJ his coffee and putting mine in my cup holder. I shove one water in my bag and drop the other on top. We pull out. The first light we hit is red.

TJ: gotta stop for all this traffic out here. He says blandly.

Me: yea, I don’t think they have magnets under this light. They should have magnets under all the lights and use magnets at night and timers in the daytime.

TJ: you think?

Me: yes, dude, I should be running this town. (I chuckle). Yea right.

TJ: you should, or maybe go for president.

Me: it would be pointless to be a city official if I can’t actually make a change. Like, I know how to make things run smoother, but the people even in control don’t want that; they want chaos.

TJ: that’s probably true; it doesn’t mean you can’t try. You could go for mayor.

Me: No, then I’d be a target. Hmm, I wonder if the mayor is a puppet, like the president.

We arrive at the motel. I grab my bag, walk around the truck, and kiss TJ goodbye as he hands me my coffee. “See you at lunch, mow,” I say.

I walk into the lobby, and Rodney is mopping the floor. I set my stuff on the counter and go back to clock in. I have two minutes. I sit down and clock watch.

We are supposed to submit our hours daily, so I submit the previous day’s hours once I clock in each day. My reasoning, if I must take the time to submit my hours daily, I’m going to get paid for it.

Today will be the exception as it is my last day. I’ll submit all my hours at the end of my day because I will not be back.

I go to the front and pull out the til I’m going to use, and start counting.

Me: how was the night?

Rodney: Good, very calm and quiet. Happy birthday.

Me: Thank you!! Any complaints?

Rodney: nope.

Me: oh, nice!

Rodney: the printer on node one jammed up while I was printing the audit. It’s going to take a unique tool to get in there and get the paper out.

Me: OK, I’ll tell Ryan when he gets here. As long as I have one working, that’s all I care about. Lol.

I finish counting both tills and get logged into the tablet. Yes, we have to check people in with tablets. Stupid.

Anyway, once it is finally logged in, I print all my necessary reports. Usually, I also print everything for maintenance, but it’s Billy today, and he won’t use the stuff I print; only Robbie appreciates my pre-printing.

Rodney: oh, one of the coffee pots are leaking; I kind of don’t want to put it out.

Me: oh, so it decided to leak instead of exploding this time, huh?

Rodney: yea, I guess, lol.

Me: oh well, we can’t afford not to put it out. We are required to have a decaf; despite the fact, nobody drinks it. I can’t only have one regular pot made at a time, and we have no spares to my knowledge.

I drink decaf, but I haven’t drunk the motel coffee since I found out Matilda had poop under her nails. I am a semi-germaphobe, and even though she’s gone now, I can’t forget. Her germs are forever permeated in everything as far as I am concerned.

Rodney: yea, I guess you’re right.

He goes to the back to clock out, and I take the coffee pots out to the lobby and get them all set up.

Rodney: “Have a good day. “

He says as he walks out the door. I double-check he brewed the second pot of regular and checked the lunch bag that TJ packed me. He put cookies in, yummy.

I check the schedule and see we have two housekeepers, an early housekeeper, which I call a half, and no laundry person with 54 dirty rooms. Wonderful.

I’m not making the boards until Ryan gets here because I don’t know how he will want to break it up, and I’m not running them twice.

I decide to eat my cookies for breakfast rather than oatmeal. Bad me, but they’re so delicious! Unfortunately, this also means I’ll skip my a.m. supplement pack, which puts the whole day off. Oh well, it’s my last day and my birthday; I’ll indulge.

Halfway through my first one, a woman comes in for coffee.

Guest: Is there something wrong with this coffee? It looks like water.

Me: Um, I’m not sure; let me check it out.

I walk out there, and sure enough, it looks like coffee water, so I take the pot to the back and grab the other pot.

Me: I’m so sorry about that. Something must have happened when the pot was brewing; this one should be good.

I run back to dump it and start another one.

Guest: uh ma’am, this coffee’s not even hot.

I walk out and look at her coffee, and it too looks like water, so I walked to the back to check on the pot I just started, and it looks like just water’s coming out. I grab a cup, slip it under the stream, and then stick my finger in; it’s cold.

That explains a lot. Yesterday we had some issues, including myself getting burned all over my wrist and hand. It wouldn’t stop brewing: I had to flip the breaker to stop it.

Luckily, I had coconut/e oil in my bag with everything I might need and nothing that I do (usually).

Besides having to redo a couple of pots of coffee, I’m freaking out trying to figure out what I’m going to do.

I remember we have this extra pot that Matilda had in her apartment before she was—finally—forced to move out (two years after all managers were evicted from their on-property flats). I’m just going to have to use that.

I run out and apologize to the guest and tell her that I’m going to make a pot with a regular home pot, and it will be a couple of minutes, but I will get coffee out for her.

Thankfully, she is very kind and understanding, not what I was expecting. Thankful for that gift on this, my last day.

I get the coffee done; that takes a while. A standard household, 12 cup coffee pot is pretty slow. But, it is better than nothing at this point.

After I get that part out to her, I start the next pot thinking, “OK, I’m going to get the two coffee pots of regular out because at this point I have a line, then I’ll do the decaf.”

I sit down and guess what; somebody walks in and asks me if I have decaf. Seriously? Nobody ever drinks the blasted decaf!”

to be continued.

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